Judge Kolawole Omotosho of the federal high court in Rivers state on Monday disqualified both the direct and indirect primary winners produced by two factions of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Rivers State, restraining the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) from recognizing any candidates of the APC for the 2019 general elections in the state.
Two factions of the party had conducted parallel primaries that produced two sets of candidates.
While one faction, loyal to former Governor Rotimi Ameachi produced Tonye Cole as its candidate, the other loyal to serving senator, Magnus Abe, produced him as its own candidate.
The national secretariat of the APC however recognised Mr Cole as the authentic candidate of the party. His name was forwarded to INEC.
In a suit filed by Mr Abe, the court declared that the APC, for failing to respect the law, must bear the consequences of her disobedience to the law.
Mr Omotosho declared that both the direct and indirect primaries were held during the pendency of the suit at the Rivers State High Court.
According to the court, the APC conducted the indirect primaries in gross disrespect of the pending suit before the Rivers State High Court.
He noted that the judgment of the state high court nullifying the primaries of the APC in Rivers State is yet to be set aside by an appellate court, hence it remains valid.
The court, therefore held that the names sent by the Amaechi faction and Magnus Abe faction were illegal
The court ruled specifically that the APC cannot participate in the governorship, Senate, House of Representatives and House of Assembly elections during the 2019 polls in Rivers State.
Source: Premium Times
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